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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What should I do if I get at ticket or citation?

If you need information about a ticket or traffic citation, do not call the Fort Lauderdale Police Department or the police agency that issued it. Once the ticket is issued, it becomes part of the court process and is handled by the Clerk of the Courts.

The Clerk of the Courts for Broward County has an informative web site with extensive information about the resolution options for tickets and citations. You can find this information at You can even make online payments for some tickets and citations.

If a court appearance is not required (the box at the bottom of your yellow citation stating “infraction does not require appearance in court” must be checked), you have three options:

  • Pay the citation: This is a guilty plea and points will be assessed (if applicable).
  • Attend driving school: This is a no contest plea, pay the fine and no points will be assessed if you sign up and complete driving school within 90 days. (Note: there are limits to the number of times you can attend driving school; consult the Clerk’s web site for information).
  • Plead Not Guilty: Consult the Clerk’s website for procedures and options for this plea.

If a court appearance is required, you MUST appear on the date specified on the ticket.

Q. Where do I report graffiti?

A. If you want to report graffiti, call (954) 828-8000.

Q. What can I do about speeding vehicles on my street?

A. By the time you call us the vehicle will probably be gone, however, if the speeding vehicle continually returns, call our communication center at 828-5700 and a police unit will be dispatched as priorities warrant. If the speeding problem is one of an ongoing nature, call the Operations Bureau at 828-5588 and we will determine the best way to remedy the situation.

Q. Are there noise limits in Fort Lauderdale?

A. You bet! City ordinance forbids certain noise levels after 10:00 PM. Further, in some areas of the City prohibitions exist concerning noise from certain types of establishments. Keep in mind, during those times of the year when the weather is cool, people tend to leave their windows open at night. If you have left your window open, the noise level may be normal and the noise you are hearing seems louder than it really is.

Q. Where can I get a copy of a police report?

A. You can come, or write, to the police department located at 1300 W. Broward Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. For further information, call (954)828-5465.

Q. How much does a police report, other data, or fingerprinting cost?

A. Effective January 1, 1995 fees for requested documents are:

  • Computer Data Requests (crime statistics):
    • $4.50 Per quarter hour, or part thereof
    • $015. Per computer page
    • $25.00 Deposit on all requests that appear will take over 2 hours
  • Police Reports:
    • $0.15 per page (single sided copy)
    • $0.20 per page (double sided copy)
    • $0.50 per page, per side, microfilm report copy
  • Local Records Checks (on individuals):
    • $10.00 fee for local records check (computer only)
    • $11.00 fee for certified local records checks
    • $20.00 fee for extended local background checks (computer, card file, and books)
  • Fingerprinting:
    • $10.00 for fingerprint cards - Fort Lauderdale residents
    • $15.00 for all other fingerprint cards - Non-residents
Q. I'm going on vacation. Will the police watch my house?

A. Yes. If you are a resident of Fort Lauderdale, all you have to do is call us at 828-5700. Tell the call-taker your address and ask to speak to the patrol supervisor that is responsible for your area. The supervisor will prepare a Zone Alert and the information will be given to the patrol officers that patrol your neighborhood. Be prepared to tell the supervisor who will have your keys (if anyone) and who to contact in the event of an emergency.

Q. Don't the police have better things to do rather than writing tickets?

A. Traffic enforcement is a very important part of the law enforcement function. There is a direct correlation between the number of traffic tickets issued and the number of traffic accidents that occur. And it is not just the property damage loss we are concerned about. We know that by enforcing Florida traffic laws we are preventing injury and loss of life. After all, if we did not write tickets, who would?

Q. What can I do about annoying telephone "hang-ups"?

A. First of all, you should keep track of the hang-ups. After you have documented a pattern of these irritating calls, call us. We will work with the phone company to identify the culprit. Remember, first you must document the calls.

Q. I received a call from someone representing himself as a police officer. The caller wanted a donation. Was the call legitimate?

A. It is very likely that the caller was legit. Many police organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association hire private firms to solicit funds for them. However, if you are in doubt regarding a particular call, just say, thanks, but no thanks. For more information on the Fort Lauderdale Fraternal Order of Police solicitation policy, click here.

Q. I want to report the misconduct of a police officer. Who should I call?

A. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department maintains a full-time Internal Affairs Unit. This component is made up of sergeants who are assigned to investigate misconduct complaints made against police officers. In addition, you may call the individual bureaus to file your complaint. Your call will be held in the strictest of confidence. Here are the numbers:

Internal Affairs:
316 NE 4th Street, Ste 3
Complaint Hotline: (954) 828-6956

Office of the Chief:
1300 W. Broward Blvd
or (954) 828-5590


Patrol Sergeant:
1300 W. Broward Blvd
(954) 828-5700

Investigations Sergeant:
1300 W. Broward Blvd
(954) 828-5497

Q. How can I keep trespassers off my property when I'm not there to do it myself?

A. Come to the Police Department (1300 W. Browad Blvd) and fill out a No Trespass Affidavit.  Once you have filled out the sworn statement, you will be given a warning sign to post on your property. 

Q. Uh-oh. Blue lights are flashing in the rearview mirror...Now what to do?

The following is an article written by Linda S. Forst

Getting pulled over by a police officer can be intimidating, frustrating and even dangerous for the motorist and the police officer. However, remembering some simple steps will help make your traffic stop as safe and as pleasant as possible.

Respond to the blue lights, and signal your intentions. The safest thing to do is to pull as far to the right as possible-using turn indicators to let the officer and other motorists know what you plan to do. If the roadway is clear and the officer doesn't pass you, assume that your vehicle is the one being pulled over. Drive slowly on the right until you find a suitable and safe place to stop. Drive defensively.

Choose a safe location to pull off the road where you won't impede the flow of traffic. You may also pull off the roadway onto the shoulder if the ground is firm. The officer will understand if you drive slowly looking for a suitable location.

Be aware that the violation may have occurred one or two miles before the traffic stop. This delay is due to the fact that most departments have developed strict procedures for officers to follow to ensure your safety and theirs. They're required to give the location, vehicle and occupant description, and license plate to the dispatcher. The officer is also trying to locate the safest place to initiate the stop.

Remain in the vehicle unless the officer instructs otherwise. Distracted motorists have been known to leave the roadway and strike vehicles or individuals at a traffic stop, causing injury or even death.

Listen to the officer and comply with instructions. Drivers often assume they're being stopped for a routine traffic matter, but the officer may be stopping you because your vehicle is similar to one just seen leaving the scene of a crime. Additionally, many people have warrants out for their arrest, are mentally unbalanced, or simply don't like police officers. Many officers have experienced verbal and physical confrontations as a result of traffic stops. Consequently, the officer may initially be acting under the assumption that you're a safety threat. Control over the situation can be accomplished by keeping yourself and your passengers in the vehicle with your hands visible.

If it's a case of mistaken identity, you'll be on your way as soon as it's cleared up. If it's a traffic stop, the officer will request your driver's license, registration and insurance card. The officer may allow you to explain your actions; if so, you should speak calmly. If the officer saw you commit the violation, your statement isn't necessary.

If your complaint is about the validity of the citation, then it must be handled through the courts. If the contact was unprofessional, complain to the police department. Police departments have procedures for lodging complaints against officers. Departments want to know if there's a problem with an officer.

If you comply with the rationale behind an officer's actions by following these steps, a traffic stop can be a pleasant experience!

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